Beard balm is a product that every man with facial hair should keep in his medicine cabinet. It’s a versatile conditioner, generally made from natural ingredients, that not only softens your hair, but also treats and prevents common conditions that beard-growers face, such as itchiness.
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Tips on how to choose the best beard balm for your needs
There are some key things to keep in mind when you’re searching for the best beard balm for your needs. Some tips are:
The Best Beard Balms of 2017!
Let's take a look at our list of the top beard balms of 2017:
100% all natural ingredients
Honest Amish Beard Balm Leave-in Conditioner is made with only organic, natural ingredients. They eschew manmade chemicals in favor using ingredients made by nature, which tend to be better for sensitive skin, and less irritating in general. Not only do these natural ingredients pack a powerful punch, but they leave your skin healthier than when they found it. And consider this: Because this is a leave-in conditioner, it’s going to be on your beard and skin all day. And since we absorb what touches our skin, it’s important that those ingredients have no side effects, which is why it’s so important to use natural ingredients for products you don’t wash off, like beard balm.
It’s essential to condition your beard for healthy hair growth. When you ignore this crucial step, hair becomes damaged, brittle and it can even break, leaving you with a patchy, uneven beard. Honest Amish is a completely natural leave-in conditioner, which means you can safely leave it on all day without worrying about harmful chemicals seeping into your skin.
One of the toughest things about growing a beard—as well as one of the most common problems—is itchiness. Many guys end up just giving up and shaving it all off because they can’t take the itch anymore. Some guys wear their beards year-round, while others only grow them out in the winter. No matter which category you fall into, you’re eventually going to have to overcome the issue of dry winter air, which sucks the moisture right out of your skin, causing your beard to itch and skin to flake. Most guys know they need to moisturize the non-bearded part of their faces—especially in wintertime—but many overlook the crucial step of moisturizing your beard and the skin beneath it. Balms are the best when it comes to moisturizing the skin beneath the beard; their high viscosity allows them to slowly sink in and stay there, keeping the skin beneath your beard soft and itch-free all day.
Honest Amish uses plant-based ingredients to make their beard balm, and that includes organic oils, many of which are well-known to have great hair and skin benefits, like avocado and argan oil. However, Honest Amish goes a step further and adds some lesser-known skin and hair-supporting oils like apricot kernel, grapeseed and pumpkin seed oil. Furthermore, Honest Amish uses virgin oils in their beard balm. Virgin oils are oils that are merely pressed the old-fashioned way and don’t undergo extra or industrial processing. They have a different pH level from non-virgin oils; because skin and hair have a certain level of acidity, messing with their pH can do more harm than good, which is why they go the extra mile and use only virgin oils.
Natural fruit and nut butters
Most guys know all about the awesomeness of cocoa butter if they’re already proud papas, but for those who don’t, cocoa butter is a great base for conditioners and lotions (hence Honest Amish’s choice to use it as an ingredient), because it softens skin (and hair) without making it greasy. It can also help lessen the look of scars and stretchmarks, which is why dads know all about it, because their wives and girlfriends will have been all about the cocoa butter while pregnant. Shea butter, another ingredient in Honest Amish, has similar effects as well.
Honest Amish also uses lesser known butters; for instance, did you know aloe could be made into a butter? Well, it can. And if you’ve ever been sunburned, you know that aloe can soothe inflammation and itchiness, making the pain go away, which is why it’s in this awesome beard balm. We featured Honest Amish in our beard oil reviews because their brand is well known in this industry and they feature a dedicated customer base.
One of their more unique butters is kokum butter. Kokum has anti-inflammatory properties and, like cocoa and shea butters, it doesn’t get greasy and clog pores. Aside of that, it goes a step beyond by being a natural antibacterial as well as an antioxidant, which protects your cells and keeps them healthy.
Basically, Honest Amish’s use of fruit and nut butters is very purpose-driven and specifically geared toward optimal beard quality all while protecting the skin beneath the beard. To note from use, the beard balm isn’t so thick that you can get your favorite beard brush through it and groom properly.
Olive oil has been used since ancient times to treat the whole body, including the beard. It’s a natural moisturizer and great for your skin, which is why it’s one of the top ingredients in Smooth Viking’s Beard Balm. Smooth Viking also uses sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, argan oil, pumpkin seed oil and avocado oil, all of which are lauded for their uniquely moisturizing properties that condition hair and skin without clogging pores.
Shea butter is an excellent ingredient choice for beard balm because it’s a natural hair conditioner and skin moisturizer that doesn’t get greasy. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for soothing and preventing dry, itchy skin that often attacks beards during the frigid winter months.
Encourages beard growth
The natural highly conditioning ingredients in Smooth Viking’s Beard Balm nourish your hair from the skin to the root to the very tip of the hair shaft, tackling the issue of rehabilitating your beard head-on. The result is better, thicker beard growth.
Great for styling your beard
Aside of all of the healthy skin and hair benefits in Smooth Viking’s Beard Balm, it’s also a great styling aid, because the natural oils and moisturizers allow you to perfectly shape your beard while they sink in into your follicles and cells to get to the real work.
Strengthens your beard
For a beard to grow long and strong, it needs proper nourishment. Think about it. Your skin that surrounds the roots of your hair is alive. If you keep it healthy, that is the first step to growing a sturdy, thick beard. The next step is strengthening individual hair shafts, so that they’re protected from breakage and damage. The natural oils in Wild Willies Beard Butter work to do just that, so your beard can always be at its strongest. Note that we actually reviewed Wild Willie’s Beard Butter in another article. They offer great products, and we featured them twice for a reason.
Moisturizes beard and skin
A good beard starts with good skin. It is the soil in which your peach fuzz grows in to become a mighty oak of a beard. Properly moisturized skin is essential for protecting the roots of your beard, as well as preventing flakiness and itching. Meanwhile, the beard hair itself must also be moisturized if you want to be able to style it and prevent it from damage. Once again, the naturally moisturizing butters and oils come together in Wild Willies Beard Butter to get to the source of your beard growth and protect it at the root.
Free of manmade chemicals
While most manmade chemicals for topical use in the US aren’t inherently dangerous—and there are laws to prevent companies from using them—there’s still something refreshing about a company that uses natural ingredients. Wild Willies doesn’t use manmade chemicals, which means no synthetic fragrance or preservatives or dyes. What you get is what you see (and smell).
Contains tea tree oil
While Wild Willies contains many of the oils commonly found in any beard balm that can call itself a contender for the best beard balm, one ingredient they have that sets them apart from the pack is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is known less for its moisture and more for its health benefits. It’s anti-inflammatory; more than that, it’s antifungal. Nobody likes to talk about, but there are a lot of pathogens that can show up in even the cleanest of beards belonging to the most hygienic of men. One of those is yeast, a type of fungus. Men get yeast infections too and no one wants one on their face. Tea tree oil is one of the most powerful natural antifungals there is, which means if your itchiness is caused by yeast (whether known or unknown to you), the tea tree oil in Wild Willies can help combat that.
Responsibly sourced ingredients
Beard Balm’s dedication to naturally sourcing their ingredients deserves a lot of praise. For instance, the way they get their beeswax from Michigan bees who haven’t been exposed to pesticides not only protects you, the customer, but they’re supporting a responsible apiary that is preserving an at-risk species vital to Earth’s ecosystem at large.
Their plant-based oils are fair trade, certified organic, and, in some cases, Kosher. Meanwhile, their lanolin is USP-certified, which means it is certified to contain exactly what it says it does, in the amount it says it does.
To top it all off, their cans are made by unionized American steelworkers. For Americans, supporting our steel industry is a top priority for most, and I predict many will find this a huge point in Beard Balm’s favor.
One of the biggest complaints about beard balms, in general, is the smell. A lot of people aren’t really fond of the smell of beeswax, for instance (though others love it). Beard Balm solves this conundrum. This particular beard balm by Beard Balm is their “Original Scent”, which they describe as a combination of lemon peel, eucalyptus leaf and geranium. Geranium is indeed a flower, but it’s a common ingredient in many of the better men’s colognes. Meanwhile, lemon peel and eucalyptus offer a refreshing, somewhat zesty scent that’s clean and masculine. The thoughtfulness behind the scent profile makes Beard Balm easily the best beard balm when it comes to smelling good.
Organic coconut oil is one of the top ingredients. Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer that’s ideal for both hair and skin, because it has a pH that’s very compatible for both. So, not only does it moisturize, but it keeps your skin and hair at their prime acidity level, which keeps them healthy and prevents hair loss and patchiness. Beard Balm also contains 100% Kosher grape seed oil; grape seed oil is light, non-greasy, and reduces frizz, contributing to better beard control.
Another main moisturizing ingredient is lanolin, which deserves its own section, as its awesome skin benefits have largely been forgotten. Lanolin is a natural moisturizer that comes from sheep’s wool, in the case of Beard Balm, Merino sheep. In the days of yore, shepherds and sheep farmers were known for their amazingly soft hands, and it was the lanolin all along. And since lanolin comes from the wool, it doesn’t harm the sheep, so it’s still animal-friendly by most people’s standards.
Optimized for control
In a lot of ways, this version of Honest Amish beard balm is similar to the other, in that it’s US-made with natural ingredients. However, one of the key difference is that it’s designed to give you better control over your unruly beast of a beard.
Another key different from Honest Amish’s other popular beard balm is that this one is geared towards creating an extra soft beard. While this might not be necessary for some, those with very coarse, wiry, dry or curly hair might need a little extra softening.
Natural and organic ingredients
As always, Honest Amish stands apart from some of the other brands out there by using only all-natural and organic ingredients. Remember, your body is absorbing this stuff, so it’s important to consider that aspect when shopping.
Honest Amish is great about standing behind their products. They’re always happy to hear customer feedback and will give you a refund if you’re not satisfied.
The benefits of buying beard balm
Beard hair tends to be coarser than the hair on your head, which makes beards harder to manage. Beard balm fixes that issue by softening and conditioning your beard to make it healthier, which in turn makes it easier to groom and style.
While beard balms are ideal for conditioning your beard hair, they do more than that by also treating the skin underneath. Growing a beard can be fraught with a few complications, albeit mostly minor ones. Two of the most common annoyances guys face are ingrown hairs and flaky skin or dandruff. Beard balm is your best and easiest bet for ridding yourself of these issues all while conditioning your beard so that it looks even more majestic than it already does.
What to look for when buying beard balm
The number one thing you want to look for in beard balm is its moisturizing properties. A lot of the issues that plague hair (including beard hair), as well as ski n, come from a lack of moisture. We don’t like to think about it, but hair is essentially dead. Much of its health comes from its roots, which are imbedded in your skin, which is why healthy, moisturized skin is so important for hair growth. Even though hair is basically dead, it still needs nourishment to keep it strong. Conditioners soften it and fill in microscopic, invisible flaws in the hair shaft that make it weak, brittle and generally hard to manage. As you can see, moisturizing is the cornerstone of beard care, which is why it’s the main thing to look for.
Moisturizing ingredients are generally oils, because they’re natural and typically very safe. While oils may sound like they might make your hair too greasy, not all oils are the same. There are a lot of “lightweight” oils that don’t clog pores or make your skin or hair greasy, and these are usually the ones that come in beard balm. Oils like avocado and coconut are common because they exhibit these properties and have extra benefits as well, such as being antioxidant, which protects your cells from free radicals, which can not only make you look old over time but make your skin and hair look less healthy in the short term.
Most beard balms are either all-natural, organic, or at the very least contain some natural ingredients. If you’re the type of guy who only does natural products, be sure to check the ingredient lists. The same goes for if you do only organic. While the science behind the pros and cons of these preferences can be debated, your own personal preference can’t be, and you should always go for the beard balm that’s made to your standards, if for no other reason than being true to yourself. (Plus, you’re more likely to actually use it if you like the ingredients.)
At the end of the day, it was easy to see that the best beard balm is handily Honest Amish Beard Balm Leave-in Conditioner. Not only does it have natural and organic ingredients, but they have the right balance, if you will. The overall combination ratio just seems to work better than some of the other brands. Moreover, their great track record and customer service can’t be beat, so it’s definitely worth a try for those looking to tame a wild, wooly beard.